Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced this afternoon that the Senate Finance Committee will vote next Tuesday on its health restructuring bill. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a preliminary cost estimate of $829 billion over the next 10 years. The CBO did warn that there could be changes once the final legislative text emerges. The $829 billion dollar price tag comes substantially at the expense of the senior’s Medicare program. For more see here.
After the panel votes, Reid will merge the Finance bill with the one passed by the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions panel in July. North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) on the finance committee told reporters the legislative process has a long way to go, noting, “It will be months before this is concluded.”
The Finance bill calls for new taxes on more expensive insurance plans and fees on industries including drug-makers and medical device manufacturers. The House versions employ surtaxes based on income.